I started running about six years ago, in a vest top, a pair of men’s tracksuit bottoms and a pair of trainers that had belonged to my mum but which she had never worn. The idea of running seemed like a total joke as I was well aware that I couldn’t run to the end of my street without keeling over! The idea of ever being able to run a 5k seemed impossible. Me and my friend Gemma kept going though, and we still run together now, frequently around 10k. 

It got to the point where I didn’t like my tracksuit bottoms any more, and I wanted a pair of proper running leggings. Off I went in search of a pair that were not see-through (surprisingly difficult to find!). When I set off on my next run, the pair I had chosen immediately felt as though they were going to fall down. I do have quite a long body so I tend to go for high-waisted styles, and these were just too low.  Using some wide elastic and some black jersey from my stash, I added an extra waistband to the top of the leggings. It did the trick, and that pair of leggings is still going strong to this day, in rotation with some other RTW high-waisted leggings that do not fall down, and I’m onto my third pair of trainers now!

I’ve been wanting to make my own leggings for a while, but to tell the truth I wasn’t really sure where to find the right kind of fabric, and it’s especially difficult if you’re trying to choose online. I bought Melissa Fehr’s book ‘Sew Your Own Activewear’, which helped me to search for the right kind of fabric ( 4-way stretch), and lo and behold, I was lucky enough to find the exact Fabric that she has used in the book! I was then confident enough to be able to order it and I could rest assured it would be suitable.

I chose the simplest of the leggings patterns for my first attempt. I’m sure that the other pieced versions are great if you’ve loads of coordinating scraps, but as this is my first foray into making active wear, I only had the one type of fabric. I had to trace off the block for ‘close fitting bottoms’ and then adapt it as instructed in the book. This added quite a bit of extra time into the making process, but the instructions were clear and I’ve done pattern cutting before, so it was fine. I have never sewn a gusset before, so that was a new experience!

I chose to start with the size L block, but by the time I had finished fitting the leggings I had taken about an inch off each side, so I’d have to start from scratch next time, trying a Medium and seeing how that turned out. I had 1.3m of fabric and used pretty much all of it; I just had a few scraps left over to cut some pieces for the vest top in the book, which I’ll make up with some coordinating plain fabric at some point in the future.

The leggings are a very comfortable fit and they come high up my waist which I really like. The fabric is lovely quality. Although the back pocket is big enough for my phone, I would only use it for my front door key. The overlap is secure enough for this.

I was hoping to test the leggings out on a run, but I injured my toe last week and so I can’t run at the moment. Instead you can have a laugh at me doing a bit of yoga practice in the garden!

Thanks to Minerva for the fabric, waistband elastic, fold over elastic and thread - all fabulous!